Date of Award
College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, English and Literary Arts
The following is a look at two poems by Carolyn Forché, “Nocturne” and “On Earth” to explore ways in which traumatic grief is conveyed through poetic expression and structure. The first chapter, “Finding a Home for the Dead: Processing Trauma and Remembering the Lost,” looks at ways in which poetic testimony honors and makes sacred space for the deceased. In particular, we look at ways in which the metaphoric space of the home gives shape and structure to traumatic memories. The second chapter, “Ripple Effects of Trauma: Contextualizing Experience in a World of Violence,” is a look at the poem “On Earth” as an extension of the traumatic events of “Nocturne.” In this poem, the implicit author tries to contextualize the trauma of the first poem within a larger social narrative. She does this through the ritualistic process of recapitulation with the reader, listing an array of violent images to re-orient the psyche to a pre-violence state.
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Amber M. Adams
Received from author
Adams, Amber M., "Trauma and Poetry: A Look at Two Poems by Carolyn Forché" (2013). Restricted Access ETDs. 4.